Monthly Archives: March 2014

A good time for cleaning and some preventative garage door maintenance

On a busy day your garage door may open and close 20 times, fiirst united door preventitive careso routine maintenance is a must to keep it in good working order. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Regular garage door cleaning and maintenance will guarantee a great look and longer life of your door.

Appearance

Clean your garage door regularly with mild soap (like dishwashing detergent) and a soft bristle brush. Avoid using abrasive cleaners and very strong liquid cleaners which could damage the paint or cause delaminating. If you have a steel garage door, you can revive its luster by applying a car wax as it will protect against acid rain and dust. It is best to avoid waxing in direct sunlight to achieve better results. If there’s exposed wood, be sure to paint it.

Exterior Weather-Stripping

Clean the weather stripping around the frame and bottom edge with a good all-purpose cleaner. Lubricate it every 2 or 3 months with a Silicone-based lubricant to keep the stripping pliable. Never use a petroleum-based lubricant on weather-stripping as it will dry up and crack. It is important to let your weather-strip hang 1/2″ below the door base when you readjust your perimeter weather-stripping. If the weather-stripping is too tight, the door will not function properly. So if your weather-stripping has lost its flexibility, it is best to replace it.

Final Advice
Consider your garage door as an important part of your home. With appropriate annual maintenance, it will door will provide carefree convenience for many years to come. Ask a qualified garage door installer, to lubricate and adjust your garage door at least yearly. A check-up will insure he will lubricate all the above mentioned parts and perform any required repairs.

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Home buyers want accessible features they can age with

firstunitedgaragedoorAccording to U.S. Census data, the number of Americans 65 and older is expected to rise 35 percent from 2010 to 2020. This plays a big part in the upswing of universal design and aging-in-place home features the past few years, accompanying the increase of multigenerational homes. A recent article from The Washington Post cites AARP findings on the subject:

According to AARP, the majority of older Americans want to stay in their homes permanently and live independently. This demographic change translates into demand for residential designs that anticipate changes in health, vision or mobility, and ensures that homes stay safe, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.

The National Association of Home Builders’ What Home Buyers Really Want report released in 2013 surveyed new and prospective home buyers nationwide to identify which features they want (and don’t want) when looking to purchase a home, one of the most desirable purchases home buyers are making with aging in mind is selecting a garage door 9 ft. or higher to accommodate a raised roof van with wheelchair lift. Besides the accommodation, it’s a good investment as well adding more value to the house itself.

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Stop Thief! Garage Door Security

garage door burglary - first united doorThe garage is an easy entry for unwanted people in our homes making garage security essential to protect yourself and your belongings.

They are a popular target for criminals to get into your home and for obvious reasons. Some of our most expensive belongings are placed in there besides your car including bikes, lawnmower and power tools.

There are a few tips that you can use to ensure the safety of your family and home. Make sure that you invest in a good garage door and door opener. Some new openers, like the Liftmaster brand, have automatic locking feature on some models that make it much more difficult for any stranger to open. On a side note, when you have a new garage door opener installed, make sure the combination is reset, as the factory set combination is a familiar one to criminals.

It is important to understand the different security features that garage doors have. Most people aren’t aware how easy it is to simply open up a garage door. If you don’t have a proper garage door lock in place, for example, you will find that most doors are very easy to open.

Always try and look for a good system that will help to give you the best results possible. Finding the right door lock for you is important because it will help you secure your garage. Having a garage door that isn’t properly secured can be an easy opportunity for potential thieves.

Criminals already know that many of us overlook securing the garage door in the same way we bolt our front door. As the door that leads to the house from your garage is an interior door this misleads to thinking that it is secure. This is not the case. If the garage door can be broken into easily then it is equally easy for burglars to get into the house.

A common mistake made by people is to leave the garage door open during the day especially if they think that they will be back in a few minutes. This leaves everything in the garage to be seen by intruders who now know what they can get from there. In some cases, they can even attempt to hide in the normal clutter of a garage and wait for the right moment to run away with your valuables.

Home security is a comprehensive thing that you should take time to analyze. Securing your garage door should be a big part of that.

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My Garage Door Won’t Close!

Garage-wont-close-firstudtEveryone’s finally dressed and ready to leave. You back the car out, hit the remote, and you’re off. Until you realize the garage door hasn’t gone down. You reluctantly pull back into the driveway, brow furrowing in frustration. It happens to everyone. Many homeowners don’t even realize they left it open until they return home.

Why didn’t it close? Garage doors usually fail to close as a result of the safety sensors being blocked. They’re located on each side of the opening, no more than a foot or so off the ground. Typically, each will have a small light that stays lit when everything is going well. If either of the lights are out, simply move whatever is blocking the sensor (sometimes even cobwebs/small debris can cause safety sensors to malfunction) or adjust them so that they are pointing at each other again. You can move these around by hand if they’ve been knocked out of alignment.

If you’re still stuck at home, make sure nothing is blocking the path of the door. This can be a common cause for service calls on garage doors. Always use caution when operating your door, but be extra cautious when it’s not working correctly. It’s the probably the largest, heaviest piece of machinery in the house. The counter balance system of the door is under extreme pressure, and when it doesn’t work properly, it can be dangerous. Many people have been injured or even killed by garage doors, some of them professionals. If your garage door is sitting crooked in the opening, has come off the tracks, or is not working properly, call a professional repair company immediately.

If the door works but the opener still won’t close it, there are a couple more things to try before calling a professional. Try using the wall button instead of the remote or keyless entry. It’s possible the remote’s batteries are dead, or the opener’s lock function has been enabled. If the garage door itself is working properly, you can pull the manual release on the opener. This will let you close the door manually, although the opener won’t be locking it shut the way it normally would.

Some openers have an indicator light that can help troubleshoot any problems. Again, you’ll need your owner’s manual for your opener. Many can be found online by doing a quick search for your make and model number. You can find the model and manufacturer on the back of the opener.

If all else fails, it may be time to call a licensed professional. Some companies will be able to give an estimate on probable repairs over the phone, so let them know what steps you may have already taken. Call a few different companies to ensure their numbers are competitive. Since openers have an expected life span of about 10 years, it might also be a good idea to check prices for new openers, instead of repairing an older model. Newer models will also have more up to date security and battery back-up features.

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